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How Many Lives Will WikiLeaks Save?

As long as there's been war, American officials have fought against transparency. Could organizations like WikiLeaks finally turn the tables?

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And I believe that Sam Adams, if he were alive today, would enthusiastically agree that this would be not only the morally correct decision, but also the only one with half a chance of exposing the lies.

Footnote: In the Tradition of Sam Adams

Sam Adams Associates for Integrity in Intelligence (SAAII) is a group of former CIA colleagues and other associates of former intelligence analyst Sam Adams, who hold up his example as a model for those in intelligence who would aspire to the courage to speak truth to power.

Sam did precisely that, and in honoring his memory, SAAII confers an award each year to a lamp lighter exemplifying Sam Adam’s courage, persistence, and devotion to truth — no matter the consequences. The Washington, DC, presentations are held in the fall, usually before a large university audience; Dan Ellsberg, a charter member, is usually with us.

Sam Adams Annual Award recipients:

-Coleen Rowley of the FBI, in Washington, DC

-Katharine Gun of British Intelligence; in Copenhagen, Denmark

-Sibel Edmonds of the FBI; in Washington, DC

-Craig Murray, former UK ambassador to Uzbekistan; in NY City

-Sam Provance, former Sgt, US Army, truth teller about Abu Ghraib; in Washington, DC

-Frank Grevil, Maj., Danish Army Intelligence, imprisoned for giving the Danish press documents showing that Denmark’s Prime Minister disregarded warnings that there was no authentic evidence of WMD in Iraq; in Copenhagen, Denmark

-Larry Wilkerson, Col., US Army (ret.), former chief of staff to Secretary Colin Powell at the State Department, who has exposed what he called the “Cheney-Rumsfeld cabal;" in Washington, DC

In April, the SAAII nominating committee decided unanimously to give this year’s award to Julian Assange of WikiLeaks. Stay tuned for information on time and place for the presentation. Or check with Geoff Morrell, who is likely to know as soon as we decide.

Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.